Importance of Pro Forma in Compliance Monitoring

Using pro forma data for compliance monitoring of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) projects is not only beneficial but also essential for government agencies involved in administering the LIHTC program. Here’s are several reasons why government agencies should use pro forma data for compliance monitoring of LIHTC projects:

  1. Regulatory Requirements: LIHTC projects are subject to a complex set of regulations and requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state housing agencies. Pro forma data can serve as a benchmark for compliance with these regulations. Monitoring actual project performance against the pro forma ensures adherence to these requirements.
  2. Income and Rent Restrictions: Pro forma data typically includes projections of tenant income levels and rent restrictions, which are critical aspects of LIHTC compliance. Monitoring actual tenant income and rent levels against these projections helps ensure that the project continues to meet the income limits and affordability standards required by the LIHTC program.
  3. Tenant Eligibility: LIHTC projects are required to certify tenant eligibility based on income. Pro forma data can include estimates of tenant eligibility criteria and the number of eligible tenants. Agencies can use this information to verify that tenants occupying the units meet the eligibility criteria.
  4. Operating Costs: Pro forma data includes estimates of operating costs for LIHTC projects. Monitoring actual operating costs against these projections is crucial for ensuring that the project remains financially viable and that operational expenses are within allowable limits.
  5. Compliance Reporting: Pro forma data provides a structured basis for compliance reporting. Government agencies can use this data to track and report on whether LIHTC projects are meeting their compliance obligations, which is essential for transparency and accountability.
  6. Timely Intervention: Regularly comparing actual performance to pro forma projections allows government agencies to detect compliance issues early. This enables timely intervention and corrective actions to address any deviations from regulatory requirements.
  7. Data-Driven Decision-Making: Pro forma data facilitates data-driven decision-making in compliance monitoring. Agencies can use this data to determine whether projects continue to meet LIHTC requirements, whether adjustments are needed, or whether penalties or incentives should be applied based on compliance performance.
  8. Risk Mitigation: Monitoring pro forma data for compliance helps agencies identify and mitigate financial and operational risks that could jeopardize the project’s eligibility for LIHTC benefits or its long-term financial sustainability.
  9. Alignment with Policy Goals: Pro forma data allows government agencies to ensure that LIHTC projects align with their policy objectives related to affordable housing, community development, and social welfare.
  10. Resource Allocation: Government agencies have limited resources for administering LIHTC programs. Pro forma data assists agencies in making informed decisions about the allocation of resources to projects that demonstrate compliance and effectiveness.

Using pro forma data for compliance monitoring of LIHTC projects is essential for ensuring that these projects fulfill their obligations under the LIHTC program. It promotes transparency, accountability, and the efficient use of government resources while helping to maintain the affordability and impact of LIHTC-assisted housing. ProLinkHFA allows our agency clients to import pro forma data from an application with the click of a button, automatically saving each year’s pro forma to be benchmarked against budget and actual results, improving asset management and compliance monitoring for all affordable housing properties.

ProLinkHFA Average Income Regulatory Updates

As the industry continues to grapple with the Average Income Test (AIT), ProLink is making changes to the Tenant Portal in order to better support average income properties. These updates reflect our commitment to inclusivity and responsiveness to the unique needs of different property types. This quarter, the ProLinkHFA release includes updates to support average income set-asides.


What is the Average Income Test?

October of 2022 marked the release of the newest temporary guidelines regarding the Average Income Test. These regulations bring clarity to the criteria for designating a unit as low-income according to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 42. In general, for a unit to be considered low-income under Section 42, it must be suitable for occupancy and occupied by a household who is income- and rent-restricted at the applicable area median income (AMI) for the unit. These regulations broadened the scope of what a low-income unit is under the AIT to now include that the unit as part of a qualified group of units.


What is the minimum set-aside?

The minimum set-aside establishes the essential baseline for both the required number of tax credit units and the corresponding income limits that pertain to the property. Up until 2018, there existed three alternatives: 20-50, 25-60, and 40-60. Commencing from 2018 onwards, two supplementary “average test” options were introduced, thereby expanding the total potential minimum set-aside configurations to five.


How is Average Income Supported in ProLinkHFA?

The new ProLinkHFA update includes the following new average income data views:

  • AIT Unit Designations—Includes fields specific to the AIT Unit Designation record, as well as fields related to the property, building, and unit.
  • AIT Qualified Group of Units—Includes fields specific to the AIT Qualified Group of Units record, as well as fields related to the property and building.
  • AIT Applicable Fraction Group—Includes fields specific to the AIT Applicable Fraction Group record, as well as fields related to the property and building.

ProLink is also updating the XML importer to accept NAHMA XML version 7, which includes new attributes for average income properties. The imported records will include both tenant event records and AIT Unit Designation, Qualified Group of Units, and Applicable Fraction Group records.

We highly recommend using Version 7 for average income properties to ensure efficient compliance evaluation. Otherwise, beginning in 2024, owner/agents will need to enter the designations manually.


Kelly Encinias, HFA Senior Product Manager at ProLink, will also be speaking on a panel at Housing Colorado titled “Average Income Test Policies and Reporting” on Wednesday, October 11 at 10:45 a.m. MST. Click here to learn more about the event and register.

Highlighting the ProLinkHFA User Group

In recent years, ProLink has seen significant growth in activity from our ProLinkHFA User Group, with a large part of new product functionality being driven by the software end-users.

The User Group started in 2014 as an opportunity for ProLink to collaborate with our clients and have them weigh into the ProLink product roadmap, influencing ProLink’s ability to address the evolving needs of the affordable housing industry.

To this day, the User Group has a significant impact on ProLinkHFA’s functionality. In 2023 alone, the group has elected approximately 30% of the year’s planned feature enhancements (YTD).

What is the ProLinkHFA User Group?

The ProLinkHFA User Group is a group comprised of all of ProLink’s ProLinkHFA clients. Once an agency is live with ProLinkHFA, they are grandfathered into the User Group.

There are different levels of participation that occur in the User Group, however all members participate and vote equally on new product features.

Recently, ProLink launched a custom data view enhancement. This new, game-changing functionality would not have been possible were it not for the nomination by the User Group.


How did the new Custom Data Views enhancement come about within the User Group?

This functionality was proposed by two members of the User Group, Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) and Florida Housing.

Danny Escuder, IT Manager for WHEDA, originally submitted the feature to the group and developed the business case with his team, submitted it for review and eventual voting by the User Group.

Florida Housing has multiple potential use cases for this functionality to supplement their own reporting needs. Susan Parks, Data Manager for Florida Housing, wanted to ensure that Data Views in ProLinkHFA present the best information to its users so they can be as efficient as possible in creating their own reports. She found a need to be able to combine different screens of data, a function which was not yet possible. Her main use case was that they were manually combining the data from multiple sources for Florida Housing’s annual reports.

What ProLink created to respond to the needs of WHEDA and Florida Housing is a custom SQL query that offers the ability to essentially “combine” different Data Views into a single screen, available within ProLinkHFA in real time.

Recently, Danny and Susan spoke about this topic at length during the June 2023 ProLinkHFA webinar session titled Game-Changing Enhancement to ProLink Data Views. (You can view the webinar recording here)


We are grateful for the participation of our User Group and always urge participation. Feedback and insights from the group helps ProLink provide better customer service, make better decisions and improve our products for everyone.


Maximizing Compliance and Asset Management with Good Data

Last week at NCSHA’s Housing Credit Connect 2023Ryan Kim, VP of Professional Services at ProLink Solutions, was featured as a guest panelist during the session titled Maximizing Compliance and Asset Management with Good Data. Ryan covered best practices for identifying good data sources, ensuring protocols, and expediating verification of tenant data to create monitoring efficiencies, as well as enhancement of program compliance.

Step 1: Data Collection

In today’s data-driven world, it’s crucial to identify good data sources, implement robust security protocols, and expedite the verification of tenant data. Often, very sensitive types of information are collected from tenant data:

Household information:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Student status
  • SSN

Financial information:

  • Household income
  • Assets

Ensuring the security and safety of personal tenant data starts at the owner/agent level. At this level, there needs to be good internal control in place in order to safeguard this data, and any property management software needs to be safe and secure.

Step 2: Data Transfer

Data is often transmitted from owner/agents to state housing finance agencies (HFAs). When data transfers are taking place between two different organizations, there are a few things to consider:

  1. Data Transfer Format (File Format): How is data getting submitted? Is it being submitted physically or digitally? What kind of digital format is being used? Excel, CSV, online portal, fillable PDF, or something else?
  2. Data Transfer Method: Is there a template? Do you upload to the cloud? Is it emailed to you as an attachment?

As you evaluate Data Transfer Format and Method you have in place at your agency, think about the following:

  • Is the Format and Method designed to safeguard data?
  • Does the Format and Method have data validations built in? By having data validation process built into your data collection process, you will save a lot of time.

Step 3: Data Processing and Outputs

Once you have received tenant data from owner/agents and it has been validated and cleaned, then the data should be stored within your system, within some form of internal database used by your agency.

This data needs to be:

  • Encrypted
  • Backed up nightly
  • Tested against any vulnerabilities or cyberattacks

All these things can be done more effectively once your database is moved to cloud with security, back-up, testing, disaster recovery, all built-in, provided by the cloud host; whether it’s Amazon Web Services or Microsoft.

Another alternative is looking for SAAS solution, Software-As-A-Service. ProLinkHFA is one such solution that stores your data in the cloud safely and securely, allowing you to access your data through our web application.

What’s Next?

Now that you have all of your tenant data in your database, how do you effectively perform compliance monitoring of hundreds of properties containing thousands of households?

The best way to an effective compliance monitoring is to have a system where you can upload and store HUD Income and Rent Limit data annually, store your compliance requirements at each property, and run all individual household data against these parameters. The system should then be able to flag potential compliance violations for you.

The system should indicate what kind of violations occur – such as over income, missing recertification, minimum set-aside, and applicable fraction. All these violations being detected directly by the system helps you create and populate the Form 8823 so you can submit it to IRS accurately and in a timely manner.

Efficiently monitoring your tenant data requires a strategic approach that encompasses data source identification, security protocols, and numerous verification processes. But, by adopting the aforementioned strategies, your organization is better equipped to enhance monitoring efficiencies, strengthen data security, and ensure program compliance.

Embracing these best practices will not only protective sensitive tenant information but it will also build trust and credibility within the industry. Remember, data is a valuable asset, and handling it responsibly is the key to success in the affordable housing landscape.

Giving to Those in Need: Annual PATH Luncheon for St. Francis Center

Last week, the St. Francis Center hosted its annual PATH luncheon fundraiser at the Temple Emanuel in Denver. The St. Francis Center is a Denver-based nonprofit whose aim is to provide a place of transformation to people in who face homelessness. The annual luncheon serves as a way to raise money for those in our society who are the most in need, and it is always wonderful to see so many people in support of the St. Francis Center’s mission.


The program commenced with a speech from Tom Leuhr, the exiting Executive Director for St. Francis, who spoke on the challenges that many homeless people face in their day-to-day lives. Tom was also joined by several other guest speakers, including Andrew Spinks, the Chief Development Officer for St. Francis, Elisabeth Francis, the Director of Street Outreach, and Dr. Ed Farrell, MD, each of whom offered their own insights into the homeless problem and the extraordinary work of the St. Francis Center.


Dr. Ed Farrell describing the challenges that many on the street are facing


Each speaker helped illustrate how the center’s compassionate services had provided a lifeline for many individuals and families, fostering empowerment and offering a pathway to a brighter future.

The speakers offered powerful speeches that shed light on the extraordinary work of the St. Francis Center. Speakers shared stories of transformation, resilience, and hope, reminding everyone of the strength exhibited by those facing homelessness.

The luncheon was also an occasion to acknowledge the dedication and generosity of the many volunteers, donors, and supporters who have played a vital role in the success of the St. Francis Center.

Welcoming Nancy Burke to St. Francis

This event served as a passing of the torch from Tom Leuhr to Nancy Burke, the incoming Executive Director for St. Francis Center. Nancy brings with her more than 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector to St. Francis Center.


Nancy Burke speaks as the incoming Executive Director for St. Francis Center


By coming together, attendees were able to not only celebrate the center’s achievements, but also reasserted their mission to creating a city where every person in need has access to safe and stable housing. The event provided a powerful reminder that collective action can bring about transformative change. As a Marble Sponsor for this event, ProLink Solutions was more than happy to be a part.


ProLink team members with incoming Executive Director, Nancy Burke


About the St. Francis Center

St. Francis Center provides comprehensive services to people experiencing homelessness. The organization operates a variety of programs and services, including:

  • Day Center Services
  • Permanent supportive housing
  • Employment services and placement
  • Mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Street outreach and safe outdoor spaces management


Please consider donating to the St. Francis Center if you are able to. You can learn more about how to donate to the center here.


Implementation and Beyond: Elements of an Effective Customer Success Program

While countless technology solutions are available to support the various business needs of Affordable Housing, purpose-built solutions paired with a robust Customer Success program is less common for our industry.

Simply put, a Customer Success program is a business method aimed to support customers in using products or services to help achieve their objectives. It’s relationship-focused client management that aligns customer and vendor goals—igniting beneficial outcomes for everyone involved. Customer success in a SaaS business such as ProLink refers to the discipline of setting customers up to reach their goals through intentional onboarding, training, relationship-building, and support.

At ProLink, the foundation of our Customer Success program subconsciously started with the relationship fostered between us and our very first client—one that has evolved and strengthened over the past 17+ years, and that has proven many of the Customer Success strategies we now offer to all our clients.

ProLink’s Customer Success program begins with an organization well before they are a client. We are deeply invested in providing thorough and transparent due diligence up-front to ensure our solutions are not only the best available option, but that we truly support the business needs of the agency. We begin each new client relationship with the intention to always keep them, so it is in our best interest to start off on solid and confident ground, ensuring we will be successful together.

This intention follows our clients as they journey through the initial implementation effort and remains with them as they enter our Customer Success program and become production-live users. Our clients continue to meet with the same experts who originally supported them during due diligence, lead them through all of the steps of their implementation, and intimately know what is left to be achieved in order to reach optimal utilization. While ProLink’s Customer Success program is not new, it is always an area of focus for our business, and we’re looking forward to several improvements to the program that will be made throughout this year. Here are a few key elements of our Customer Success program that we consider invaluable for both ProLink and our clients:

  • Using the knowledge gained through client feedback methods and inclusion at all levels of the organization, ProLink aims to maintain an intimate understanding of both the operational and organizational concerns of our clients. We want the solutions to be right, voices to be heard and needs to be met.
  • There is never enough time, budget, or resources to accomplish all possible opportunities for improvement/automation during an initial implementation effort. Our Customer Success Team works with our clients during and post-implementation to develop an adoption roadmap that supports continued progress, indefinitely. We review adoption roadmaps with our clients on a regular basis, multiple times a year.
  • To optimize ROI for our clients, ProLink highly recommends appointing an internal “ProLink Lead” who partners closely with us to prioritize initiatives, engage business users, and increase system adoption.
  • ProLink’s Customer Support representatives are major contributors to our clients’ Customer Success experience. Timely, responsive, and personal support to our clients is what we strive for.

With speed, accuracy, accountability, quality, and transparency, our Customer Success program aims to build a strong and long-lasting partnership by providing our customers with extraordinary service, support, and the assistance needed to help drive product adoption.


If you are interested in learning more about implementation methodology, we are hosting a webinar on the topic of what makes a good Customer Success program on Wednesday, April 5th at 3 p.m. EST. You can sign up by clicking here.

Post-Implementation: What to Expect Down the Road

When an organization makes the decision to acquire new software, it’s typically because there is a need: Your business is growing? Manual processes are overworked? Your staff are becoming harder to manage? Software sprawl is impacting your cost of doing business? No matter the reason, the ultimate goals are to increase efficiencies, streamline processes, reduce cost, and increase ROI. To that end, your team does the hard work: preparing the business case, putting out an RFP, selecting the software and going through the software implementation process.

Now you are live, and then what? What happens post-implementation? Oh yes, get back to work! The project team is disassembled, team members are back to their normal operations and are expected to use their new software and show results. Now, fast-forward five years. What do you see? In my career I have seen and experienced two scenarios:

The first scenario, and honestly the most common, is where I receive a new software selection request and the justification is that the current system does not satisfy the needs of the business.

In my career as an Enterprise Project Management Office manager, my aim has been to help the business unit and leadership prepare their business case and make sure the company investment was needed and justified. What I found was that after several years, key employees left the company and took with them their knowledge and expertise. Members from the original implementation team were gone and as new employees are being hired, and we as a company were not doing a good job at documenting our processes and training new employees on the systems. With institutional knowledge gone, we realized that the existing system was underutilized by as much as 85% and there was no collaboration or partnership with the software provider.

The second scenario is when I received request for an extensive system customization.

When presented with this request, as part of our due diligence we would review the business units’ processes that had been impacted by the requested customization, in addition to previous change requests. What I found is that in most cases, due to the loss of basic system knowledge and lack of software adoption, the business units were reverting to their original processes and were trying to change the system to fit those processes. After discussing the business needs with our service provider, we were able to streamline their processes by using the system properly. We were also able to reduce their customization cost which, if you are in IT, you may know that maintaining system customizations is a very expensive and cumbersome process.


If your agency is currently facing one of these scenarios, don’t despair! there are things ProLink can do to help your situation. Your first step is to reach out to ProLink Customer Success and schedule a meeting to discuss your needs and challenges.  At ProLink we understand that a successful software implementation does not end when our clients go live. To support our clients and as part of our customer success initiatives we have created the following services:


Software Adoption Evaluation

Our change management and software adoption experts will collaborate with our clients and ProLink Professional Services team in the Analysis of  a client’s software utilization data, will conduct research via interviews, surveys, and virtual working sessions to understand users’ motivations, needs, challenges, environments, beliefs, complaints, and reasons why users don’t adopt, in order to provide a software adoption evaluation assessment and recommendations.


Process Improvements Gap Analysis & Adoption Scope definition

Our Process Improvements/Software Adoption and Product Experts will work with our clients’ subject matter experts to gather the client staff’s high-level Voice of the Customer (VOC) feedback (grouped by operational processes) via working sessions, interviews, and shadowing sessions to understand users’ needs, challenges, areas of process improvements and training needs, as well as convert feedback into high level requirements.

We will also identify critical to quality items to identify and develop best practice recommendations as well as develop a high-level roadmap to implement the product suite based on the discovery held within each department.


Process Training Evaluation

Our Training and Product experts will work with our clients’ business units to conduct a training needs discovery consisting of a system demo, one-on-one interviews with leadership, and a training opportunity survey. ProLink will provide assessment results, a training plan, and recommendations.


These services were developed with our clients in mind. The deliverables will provide our clients the data they need to make an informed decision, in how they can support their business units and staff to make them more efficient while realizing software benefits and improving their ROI. Our client’s success is our priority and as your business partner we will help you develop a software adoption and strategy that will make sense to you and your staff.



Software Implementation: Why OCM and Adoption Plan Matter

When talking about a successful implementation, the questions that immediately come to mind are:

  • Why do we need it?
  • What are the requirements?
  • What are the tasks we need to complete?
  • How long is it going to take?
  • How realistic is my level of effort, resource allocation, duration, schedule, and expectations?

Sometimes companies become so deeply enmeshed in the technical and financial aspects of a software implementation that they often forget how important the people side of the equation is. Having a successful software implementation will result in the ROI that goes beyond the numbers.

The people side of the equation, better known as Organizational Change Management (OCM) and software adoption, should not be treated as an afterthought; it should instead be a core part of your business case and procurement process. The main focus of OCM strategy and a post go-live software adoption plan is your staff.

When looking for a software provider, you should take into consideration how the provider is incorporating OCM into the implementation process:

  • What type of methodology does the provider use and recommend?
  • Is there any additional cost for change management and software adoption consulting services?

It takes time and effort on your part as well as strong backing from your organization’s executive team in order to ensure not only that your software is implemented properly from a technical perspective but also that software adoption is successful with your internal staff members as well as your organization’s customers. Remember, even when new software is the right business decision, your employees might not be ready for the change that will impact their day-to-day activities.

The Adoption Plan

Let’s say the implementation was done on time, on budget, and within scope. So, what’s left? This is perhaps the most overlooked stage of an implementation. From an executive and leadership perspective, you don’t want to find yourself asking this 6-9 months after the implementation.  Why haven’t we achieved benefit realization and ROI? Why does staff continue to use workarounds? In most cases, it’s because of the lack of planning for post-implementation activities. This is why selecting the right software provider is so important.


You need a business partner, not just a software provider. 


An Adoption & Reinforcement Plan helps ensure that your staff will continue to use the adopted changes after the project is over. The right software provider should help you develop your adoption and reinforcement strategy.

Here at ProLink Solutions, we want you to think of us as an extension of your organization—a business partner, someone you can rely upon to help you implement and manage your new system to support your business operation.


If you want to learn more about how to ensure a successful implementation, join our webinar on Wednesday, February 1st at 3 p.m. ET. Click here and register today.


Highlights from ProLink Technology Live 2022

This year, ProLink Solutions held an all-virtual conference, ProLink Technology Live 2022. The conference featured a number of guest speakers from all areas of the affordable housing industry and was split into two separate tracks, one for ProLinkHFA (multi-family) and one for ProLink+ (single-family). In total, 20 affordable housing organizations were represented in the audience. Our speaker lineup consisted of 6 employees from ProLink Solutions, as well as 8 industry experts from various affordable housing organizations.

Keynote – Washington Update

We started the conference with a special keynote from Jennifer Schwartz, the Director of Tax and Housing Advocacy at the National Council of State and Housing Agencies (NCSHA). Jennifer provided an update on Washington, and also touched up on a variety of topics including:

  • FY 2023 HUD Budget Appropriations
  • IRS’ final ruling on Average Income Test (AIT) in October 2022
  • The IRS extending the Housing Credit Placed-In-Service and other deadlines at NCSHA’s request.

You can watch the session recording here.

Panel on 8823 Updates and Average Income Test

Kelly Encinias, the HFA Senior Product Manager at ProLink, was joined by several industry experts for a panel discussion on 8823 compliance and AIT final regulations released by IRS in October 2022. As part of this panel discussion, Virginia Housing’s Erica Etterling presented how the AIT final ruling is going to affect Virginia’s Average Income Guidance currently in place, including how property owners’ AIT reporting to the state is going to change.

You can watch the session recording here.

Procorem Use Cases Panel

Ryan Kim, VP of Sales & Marketing at ProLink, was joined by panelists representing different industry roles to discuss  a number of different Procorem use cases. Danny Escuder with Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) presented how the agency is utilizing Procorem to support the agency’s Multifamily Application submission process.

You can watch the session recording here.

In addition, we had six other software training sessions tailored to ProLinkHFA and ProLink+ products. You can access all session recordings here.

What to Expect from ProLink in the Coming Year

In 2023, ProLink plans to host a brand-new webinar series beginning in February. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest news from ProLink as well as news about the affordable housing industry.



Join Us for ProLink Technology Live 2022!

We are excited to announce ProLink Technology Live 2022! Join us for our annual user conference on November 9 and 10. Registration is now open with additional details available on the registration site. This event is open to all public agencies nationwide. It’s a two-day virtual event with multiple tracks:

  • Track 1 – ProLinkHFA Multifamily is a 2-day track filled with software training as well as two panels featuring industry experts, one on 8823 updates and the Average Income Test and the other on Procorem use cases. Open to all public agencies.
  • Track 2 – ProLink+ HAF is a single day track (November 9) focused on Homeowner Assistance Fund implementation. Open to all public agencies. Learn how ProLink+ uses DocuSign and Amazon Quicksight to assist in the HAF application process.

On November 9 at 11AM Eastern, we will kick off the conference with a special keynote from Jennifer Schwartz, Director of Tax and Housing Advocacy with the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA), who will be providing affordable housing industry updates from Washington!

All session and speaker information can be found in the registration site.

The event is free. Check out the site and register today!